Never before in the history of mankind has it been more difficult to get public attention as it is right now. And its driving brand managers to distraction.
What with the mass media preferring sensation over truth, politicians blatantly lying and a level of social media mayhem, the likes of which no one ever imagined.
Fake news, policical and corporate lies and media sensationalism all infect social media every minute of every day to the point where millions of unsuspecting ordinary people are passing what they believe is fact and which in fact, is not.
Over the past month I have been analysing social media postings, mostly Twitter and FaceBook, to try and gauge how many people continue to share fake news in spite of others joining in the conservation and pointing out that what is being bandied about is fake news.
Strangely enough, I have come to the firm conclusion that as soon as someone sees something on social media that appeals to their personal prejudices they will keep the lies alive by sharing and sharing and sharing.
All of which of course, is what politicians like Jacob Zuma and Donald Trump discovered ages ago. That if you tell a lie often enough it will become the truth particularly among those who share your prejudices.
It will get worse before it starts getting any better. And it will probably only get better when those who govern us realise what damage this is causing and then passing legislation to make it a fineable or even criminal offence to distribute fake news in public.
And that won’t happen because those very people who govern us are the ones who benefit most from this type of cancerous dissemination.
Now, all of this puts consumers and B2B brands in an awkward situation. Mainly because whatever they claim in advertising, press releases or corporate statements, there are going to be masses of consumers and customers who simply won't believe them no matter how convincing they might sound.
So, my idea for a corporate brand marketing campaign is to create platforms through advertising, PR and social media posts, for example, publicising fake news and blatant lying.
It’s not all that difficult to do thanks to websites such as snopes.com that do amazing jobs at separating fiction from fact.
Of course, any brand that adopts this strategy would have to be really squeaky clean itself. But, the rewards would be huge because the brand concerned would be recognised as one utterly associated with all things true. By implication, an honest brand. A trusted brand.
It's not rocket science and is based quite simply on the psychology of public perception.
So, I am looking for a brand with courage. A brand that wants to stand out from the rest. A brand with the vision to remove itself from the morass of stereotype marketing.
Best of all, the brand that does this first will have exclusivity because no other brand would be able to do the same without being called a copycat.
Apart from being a corporate marketing analyst, advisor and media commentator, Chris Moerdyk is a former chairman of Bizcommunity. He was head of strategic planning and public affairs for BMW South Africa and spent 16 years in the creative and client service departments of ad agencies, ending up as resident director of Lindsay Smithers-FCB in KwaZulu-Natal. Email Chris on and follow him on Twitter at @chrismoerdyk.
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